moving with family
I finally got the courage to post a message. ; )
My family and I are going to be moving to the Virgin Islands in Fall of 2011. It will be my, my husband, daughter 10, son 7, son 3 and six month baby. Yes we are a big tribe. We are moving from mountains of Colorado. We live in a tourist place so we are used to higher prices and lack of big shopping malls and such. We are moving because we need a change of pace in our life. We live in a nice community but want to expose the kids to other places and cultures. We figured the VI's would be a good starting off point. We eventually want to transition to living on a boat.
It seems like St. Croix would be the best fit for our family. We prefer the slower pace of life and enjoy being outdoors. (I am just sick of having to wear jackets and boots and hats).
We will come with a some savings but my husband will need to work. He has run his own plumbing business for 15 years and does solar, and was a Finish Carpenter. He can do pretty much any kind of work and is a hard worker, shows up on time and is easy to get along with. We don't drink so that is not a concern. Will he be able to find some sort of work?
I am not worried about school as we already homeschool. I was wondering if there are any other homeschool families on St. Croix?
Are there any types of Farmers Markets on the island?
Does anybody live Full Time aboard their boat? What is the mooring situation like there?
I appreciate this forum and all of the useful information!
just curious, are you thinking about living aboard with your family of 6? there is a farmers market in La Reine near the pizza hut and one in beeston hill. Not at all what you would be used to though. Even though you live in Colorado in a tourist area, the prices here will still be a sticker shock.
You should really come down for a couple of weeks to check it out, and not like tourists.
We will be moving with the whole family.
We are under the mindset nothing ventured nothing gained.
I am under no illusion that things will be the same in the Islands, nor would we want them to be good or bad.
The prices I have seen for food are not that much higher or the same for what I pay now. The rents are the same. I do realize that utilities are a lot more expensive but we don't want to move into a huge place. We live in our "dream" house which is fairly large and the mafority of the time we are all in the same room! Plus it takes forever to clean. We want the place we get in St Croix to be smaller also because it will be our transition before moving onto a boat.
Thanks for the info. on the Farmers Market. We like to eat local food food when we can.
Do you pay $8.00 for a gallon of milk, $8.00 box of Cheerios, $4.00 6 pack of soda, $4.00 per lb of fuji apples and $6.00 per lb of red peppers - but then again these are prices on STJ 🙂 🙂 🙂
How about 7.69 for a package of Oreos? I only buy paper products, bleach and some pantry foodstuff at Pueblo East but I'm pretty sure I'm the only fool buying those Oreos. They started with 10 packages and are down to 5 last time I was there and I bought 5.
I live on St. John, so I will give you that perspective... It sounds like the trades that your husband is in would be able to land him a job. It would be even better if he could be licensed. Is he currently licensed? Could he be licensed? Licensed plumbers on St. John are very hard to come by, but I'm not sure how the situation is on St. Croix. There is also a big push in the islands for people to go solar. Some good incentive programs for people to put in solar hot water heaters and net metering is really starting to gain some ground as well.
not trying to dissuade you, but have you ever lived on a boat? i have, for a short period of time with my older teenage son. will never do it again. and you have 4 children who are going to want their own space. it is going to be tough. heck i will not do it again with just me and my bf.
food prices, i pay 5 for a half gallon of milk, it will last me a week. and thats only with one small glass a night.. a lb of hamburger is about 6 if you drink soda, it is about 4 for a 12 pack. toiletries are also much more expensive, you can get around that by shopping at drugstore.com, if you buy a certain amount, you get free shipping. the sponges i use for dishes, less than 3 for a 3 pack at drugstore.com almost 6 here. kitty litter i use is double here.
the farmers markets do have a few good things but not like in the states. be careful if you buy produce on the side of the road, they sell store bought produce.
the island is beautiful, the weather is usually nice the beaches and outdoor activities are great. customer service is spotty.
could always use good reliable licensed plumbers on stx.
please come down for a visit first before deciding.
Thank you for all of your responses.
Yes some things will be more expensive and we realize that. Thank you for letting me know how much things cost. We don't drink a lot of soda and make things like cookies and the like from scratch.
I lived off and on a boat growing up. My family have spent time on my dad's boat which is smaller. Honestly my kids like to be where we are ninety percent of the time. Even our almost ten year old still comes into our room at night to sleep sometimes.
I appreciate the advice to come visit first. I know that will probably will not happen though. We believe you just have to go and make the best of it. Naive, maybe. If we hate it after a couple of years than we will move on somewhere else. At least we gave it a go and will never think what if for the rest of our lives.
Thanks for the info about the work. I need to look into seeing if the license will transfer or not.
I really appreciate the honesty and caring of you guys. I realize that you are not being naysayers but rather paint an accurate picture of island life.
whatever your choice, i hope it makes you happy and you enjoy the ride:-)
For more information about the licenses, you can call the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (aka DLCA). They have a website, but it is not so great, and email is not a good way to communicate with them either. There are certain tests that your husband would have to pass in order to have a VI license, and the expense of the license of course! Here is the link to the website. www.dlca.vi.gov Getting a business license of any kind can be a bit of a pain here and can also take awhile. So just be patient, because it will be worth it!
Thank you very much for the contact info!
I just moved to STJ and although it has been expensive and has definitely been an adventure, it's great here. Gorgeous scenery and yes everything is slower, which while nice is also somewhat frustrating. Regardless, take the leap and keep moving. I admire your sense of adventure with such a large family. A couple notes which I'm sure you've already on this site, plan on spending 3x your rent to get moved in, if you plan on shipping anything, get a PO Box established in St Croix and ship through the post office as Parcel, do this 3 weeks prior to moving, because it takes about 6 weeks to get here. Finally, since you are not going to make a pre-move-visit, if you can afford it, rent a villa for 2 weeks and LOOK at any place you are looking to rent. By LOOK I mean check the stove works, the water, toilet, fans windows etc. If there is an issue that is a deal breaker for you, keep looking or ask if it would be fixed before moving in, if so get it in writing. Hope this helps, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't make it here, only you know that. Everyone that wasn't born here was new here once, MANY of the people here need to remember that. Best of luck to you and yours.
Thanks for the support!
The info you gave me about the mail service is great!
I will look into getting a villa/ condo when we first get over there. We are going to be coming in the off season so hopefully it won't be too expensive or difficult to find one.
Does anybody know if there are any dance classes for kids on St Thomas or St. John? I saw St. croix has a couple of dance studios. My daughter loves to dance and is part of the junior company here in Colorado.
My hubby is not sure if he wants to go to St. Croix because there are a lot more anchorages on st. thomas and st. john.
Does anybody know if there are any long term anchorages in St. Croix?
Right now we are kind of torn of where we want to go. I guess as we collect more information we will figure things out.
Thanks Again for all of the information!
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